USA Work-Related Illnesses
The list of work-related illnesses in the USA is extensive due to the many hazardous professions that exist, or have existed in the past. Work-related illnesses are classified as a condition or illness which has been acquired due to dangerous work practices – for example Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome – or developed after exposure to a dangerous substance in the work environment – asbestos exposure being the most high profile of USA work-related illnesses.
Some conditions classified as work-related illnesses in the USA may be acquired through a personal reaction to chemicals (dermatitis or latex allergies) or a personal situation (stress is one of the “new” work-related illnesses for the 21st century). Even deafness due to prolonged exposure to a noisy environment is classified in the USA as one of the most common work-related illnesses.
Qualifying for a Work-Related Illnesses Claim
For each of the acknowledged work-related illnesses, there is a set of regulations advising an employer on how manage the risk of work-related illnesses. Many of these regulations give minimum protection levels against the inhalation of airborne particles which cause chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDS) or maximum periods of time that an employee should use hand held vibrating tools which cause vibration white finger, hand arm vibration syndrome and Raynaud’s Syndrome.
More than just providing protection and limiting exposure, an employer has the responsibility to prevent USA work-related illnesses by providing training and supervision to employees at risk. He should also ensure that workloads are managed, breaks are taken where necessary and that the personal protective equipment he has provided is being used in the way in which it was intended in order to be effective against work-related illnesses. Where an employer fails to adhere to the health and safety regulations for the industry in which you work, and you sustain work-related illnesses as a result, you are entitled to make a work-related illnesses claim.
Before Making a Work-Related Illnesses Claim
As with any illness, your first consideration should be that of your health. When you visit your doctor with the symptoms of a work-related illness, explain to him what it is that you do as an occupation in order that he can confirm that your work-related illnesses has been caused by the environment in which you work. Thereafter, you should take the following steps before making a work-related illnesses claim:-
- Write a Report – A report of all work-related illnesses should be made in your employer´s “Accident Report Book” – even if you no longer work for the employer responsible for your illness. You should request a copy of the entry made in the Accident Report Book to support your work-related illnesses claim and ensure that the report is also forwarded to the HSE.
- Collect Evidence – It may be too late to collect evidence of work-related illnesses if your condition has deteriorated over a period of time or working practises have subsequently changed. However, wherever possible obtain photographs of your work environment and make notes of where your employer failed in his “duty of care” towards you.
- Talk to Witnesses – Again, this may be no longer possible or is something that your lawyer will have to research, but if you are able to find out whether other people have experienced the same work-related illnesses as yourself, their evidence will strongly support your work-related illnesses claim and potentially bring it to a satisfactory conclusion much sooner.
- Consult a Solicitor – Whereas this (hopefully) will be the first time you have been affected by work-related illnesses, a lawyer will have a wealth of experience in helping clients make a work-related illnesses claim. This experience will help to establish whether you have a work-related illnesses claim which is worth your while to pursue.
Most employers will be horrified to learn that their lack of care has resulted in work-related illnesses within their company, and will usually offer their assistance in one form or another. As payment for a work-related illnesses claim is made by their public liability insurance company, there should be no risk to a long standing working relationship if you make a work-related illnesses claim against your employer. There should also be no risk of any penalty for making such a claim, for it is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you or terminate your employment on the grounds that you have made a work-related illnesses claim against them.
Free Work-Related Illnesses Claim Advice
Because of the very many types of work-related illnesses in the USA, we have established a free work injury claims advice service to provide impartial information for people who may be considering making a work-related illnesses claim. Our service will enable you to discuss your claim with an expert work injury lawyer and ask any questions you may have relating to you case.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a work-related illnesses claim once you have spoken with us, and all calls to our free work injury claims advice service are completely confidential. Our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm seven days a week, and if now is not a convenient time to speak with us, please complete the call-back request at the side of the page and one of our experienced lawyers will get back in touch with you.